The 11:11 Code; Secrets of the Convent

The 11:11 Code; Secrets of the Convent

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Why do the numbers 1111 keep coming up? 

The 11:11 Code; Secrets of the Convent
by Hilary H. Carter
O Books, 2008
234 ps, $19.95

This book is the fascinating and sometimes disturbing adventure of Hilary Carter’s mission to fulfill her life dream; to start her own yoga center in Spain. The true life story begins with Carter’s visit to a run-down convent in Ugijar, in Andalusia. Although she is inspired by the location, she has a strange feeling about the place and that combined with the asking price is enough to make her dismiss the idea of buying it.

However, when she returns to Britain, a chain of event comes into play that makes her realize her decision is wrong. First her cousin lends her the money, and then the asking price is reduced. Each little event that pushes her back to Ugijar is also accompanied by a very significant sign; the numbers 11:11. Whether it is the time when an important phone call takes place, the number of miles on the speedometer, chapter and verse in an open bible, the numbers crop up time again to indicate when Carter is on the right path.

After finally buying the convent things begin to go awry and her portentous numbers seem to have deserted her. She has numerous setbacks including problems with builders and conflict with the local residents. She also has a series of disturbing visions of a past life in convent, which she discovers once belonged to the Knights Templar.

Before long everyone who comes into contact with the old convent falls victim to its curse and Carter is so afraid that more harm will befall the people that she cares about that she puts the place back on the market. Inspired by the recurrence of her 11:11 code, she feels she has made the right move at last and returns to Britain. But the convent seems to have a will of its own and despite the very reasonable asking price, will not be sold.

Eventually Carter will return to Ugijar to cleanse the convent and search once more for the secrets of its past. What is finally in store for her, even she does not foresee, soon she is finding connections between locations as distant as Spain, France and Great Britain.

The story has many unexpected twists and turns, from memories and visions of past lives, to premonition of mysterious hidden scrolls. Carter’s writing has an easy flow that makes it a pleasure to read, yet she builds up the suspense to keep you turning every page. The autobiographical adventure is enriched by the vivid backdrop of the Alpujarras scenery and local customs and is interwoven which the mysterious and often controversial history of the Knights Templar. In the coffee shop scenes you can almost taste the regional grape juice and smell the sizzling tapas. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat right until the end.

Review by Corinna Underwood

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